The Friday Five: Learn, Donate, Love

February was a wild month on my end. There were very happy days, of course, but there were also really sad days, too. Every week seemed to bring difficult news of one sort or another. Illness. Job stress. Relationship challenges. I hope March brings joy to my loved ones. I hope happiness finds its way into your homes, too, if you’ve been experiencing some trying times.

So, today, I’m taking a break from talking about renos and fashion and furniture to raise¬† awareness about some important causes.

Mental Illness

A friend’s brother passed away last week due to mental illness. It’s devastating and awful. He was much too young. To donate or learn more about this disease, visit the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Prostate Cancer

Some people say that prostate cancer is a “normal” or “good” kind of cancer. How is cancer normal? How can it be good? To donate or learn more, visit Prostate Cancer Canada and the Movember Foundation.

Breast Cancer

My friend Lisa wrote a personal essay about how cancer changes the conversations you have with your partner. It was recently published in the Globe and Mail. There are several organizations you can donate to to improve awareness and research for breast cancer. I usually learn more or donate to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Metastatic Breast Cancer Fund, or The Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation.

Ronald McDonald House

I heard of the much too early birth of twins of friends of a friend. I also learned of how the Ronald McDonald House Charities is supporting this family who needs to be close to their babies while they’re in intensive care.

Diabetes

Did you know that 11 million Canadians are living with diabetes or pre-diabetes? And about 50% of people with diabetes may experience kidney damage. To donate or learn more, visit Diabetes Canada or The Kidney Foundation of Canada.

#WhiteCabanaWearsPink: A Pink Halloween

Today is the final pink Monday for my #WhiteCabanaWears pink series. The month of October is breast cancer awareness month, and I’m happy to raise funds online and offline for the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Thanks to all of you for making White Cabana part of your day. I’m grateful for your support.

To end the series, I’m focused on making this Halloween very pink! Have a look at these inspirational photos!

via A Subtle Revelry

via Design Improvised

via Sugar and Charm

via House Beautiful

And beyond Halloween decor, here are some costumes and accessories for you and the kids!

via Pottery Barn

cat ears

 boo socks

lace gloves

via Pottery Barn

Thanks again, everyone! Have a safe and fun Halloween!

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Design: Princess Margaret Home Lottery – Vaughan Showhome

Earlier this week I was invited to attend an event at the Princess Margaret Home Lottery Vaughan showhome. The evening included a tour with designer Jack Celli of Greenpark Homes, as well as wine tasting lessons from Krystina Roman of Rosewood Estates¬†in Beamsville/Niagara, and delicious food and cooking instruction from Steve Gonzalez of Toronto’s¬†Valdez¬†(and Top Chef Canada – Season 1). Laura was our happy host for the evening, and design and food bloggers mingled and ate in a $4 million home. Not bad for a Monday night, right?

The Vaughan showhome is far…in the country…north of Woodbridge…almost in Barrie? Joking…it’s just north of Woodbridge, but it’s definitely in the countryside (and just over an hour drive from Waterloo). The massive showhome is surrounded by other massive homes and a beautiful landscape. The house is full of white so, naturally, I went a overboard with the photos. Black and gold are accent colours throughout the house.

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first floor hallway

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details in the dining room Рmoulding & art

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main floor family room – beside the kitchen

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open concept kitchen

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white bathroom ensuite – 2nd floor

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the elevator (yes, an elevator!)

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substantial doors throughout the home

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high ceilings & crown moulding

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Greenpark‘s Director of design – Jack Celli – in the master bathroom

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Rosewood wines: Riesling, Semillon, Mead (honey wine)

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chef Steve Gonzales in the kitchen (cooking up things like ceviche, arepa, & chorizo…yum!)

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Danica (Country Chic Renovator) & me with our Rosewood honey

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beautiful view from the lanai

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hakwood floors & oversized armchairs in the library

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winged art sculptures

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one of the 2nd floor bedrooms with ensuite

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master bathroom (the size of a football field – well, almost)

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his & her toilet rooms in the master bathroom

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door & floor details

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the runway room

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half a dozen switches in the master bathroom

While the house is much too fancy for my taste, it has a good layout, it’s really airy, and the lanai off of the kitchen & family rooms is a beautiful space that can be used year-round. I also quickly noticed – and liked – how substantial the doors, moulding, and trim was throughout the house.

I loved the Hakwood¬†flooring throughout the house. My favourite room in the house was the library – it is currently set up with four large comfy chairs and shelves of vases and other interesting objects. If I lived there, I’d obviously fill those shelves with books. The room has good light from a large window, it’s near off the main foyer and living rooms, and it has a mini-kitchen beside it. How handy.

So, are you interested in this big ticket item? Have other prizes caught your eye? Have you bought your ticket?

Thanks to Laura Z. for being such a wonderful host and event coordinator.

Photos by Jordana. Additional photos here.

Charity: 1:Colour 1:Cause 1:Face

On Monday October 1st, the 1:Face project will begin changing the world one watch at a time. How so, you say? The money from each colourful watch sold goes to various charity organizations. Each watch represents a different cause – hunger, water, AIDS, breast cancer, environment – and the money raised from the 1:Face movement will certainly spread goodwill to those in need.

illustration of the 1:Face watches; each watch is $40

The white watch below, for example, will feed 16 children in Africa through the assistance of the 1:Face partner organization, One Days Wages.

I received the watch representing water. With the sale of 625 of these white and yellow watches one well will be built in Rwanda via the assistance of the non-profit organization Charity Water. Not only will you want one of these watches to show your support and spread the word, but you will also love showing off its sleek design.

1: Face watch – changing the world one watch at time & it tells the time too (with the touch of a button)

So what are you waiting for? On October 1st, join the movement here. And in the meantime, follow all the 1:Face news and updates on Facebook and Instagram.

Many thanks to Mizra Minds.

Update: You can also follow and support the 1:Face movement at Indiegogo.

The Friday Five: Holiday Gift Giving

If you’re still thinking of gift giving today, then perhaps you’ll consider making a donation to a favourite charity in honour of someone you love. There are so many wonderful causes to support but here are five wonderful organizations that I contribute to at this and other times of the year.

Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation

Canadian Cancer Society

Odette Cancer Centre, Sunnybrook Hospital

Children’s Wish Foundation

Heart & Stroke Foundation

To which organizations do you contribute? Please share.